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Whether you've already been to Tuscany or it's your first time, this food and wine retreat is for you. Join Italia Dolce Vita and discover one of the most carefully-preserved lands in Italy. Tuscany’s wine country is situated in some of the most gorgeous and pastoral countrysides on earth where you’ll find splendid wines, great food, and rich history and culture. Enjoy a hands-on cooking lesson and meet iconic wine producers that will delight even the most discerning wine drinkers.
You will stay in this accommodation for two nights. The main residence is an elegant 19th-century historic villa. The 10 bedrooms are furnished with antiques and fine fabrics, and some also have terraces with breathtaking views. On the ground floor reception, there is a breakfast room and the hotel's own restaurant that uses their own agricultural products like vegetables, fruits, and meat.
Outside, there is a wonderful terrace where you can have breakfast, taste some dishes directly from the kitchen or, enjoy a peaceful drink. The classic rooms are in the guest house and in the Gli Ulivi residence. They are medium-sized rooms, about 18 to 20 square meters, with a bathroom, and are decorated in a classic style. Most classic rooms have a small independent garden.
You will stay in this hotel for three nights. It is just a few steps away from the main piazza, in the heart of medieval Montalcino. The hotel has 12 rooms, and all have cast-iron bed frames, painted ceilings, and travertine stone bathrooms. The decor has a harmonious blend of rustic Tuscan style and classical elegance. The breathtaking panorama through the windows provides an atmosphere to be experienced and never described.
You will stay in this castle for three nights. This hotel has a feel that welcomes you to the Middle Ages. For over a thousand years, the walls of this castle have been silent witnesses to intriguing stories, rivalries, and plots. They have seen hundreds of children grow and enjoy the merriment of court games. They could tell stories of true love and secret love affairs.
The following itinerary is how Italia Dolce Vita intends to proceed with this special tour. Occasionally, they need to adjust itineraries based on a number of factors, including weather, hotel availability, and accessibility to sites. In the event that a change to the itinerary is necessary, they will make every effort to keep it to a minimum. Rest assured that it is the company's goal to make your trip an exceptional experience.
After pick-up from Florence Airport (FLR), you will head down the Tuscan coast to Maremma and check in to your accommodation for the night. After settling into your rooms, you will meet with the group for a welcome dinner at the hotel’s cozy restaurant.
On this day, you will begin the tour at Grattamacco, the coastal winery which is part of the Colle Massari wine producers. After exclusive vineyard and cellar tours and tastings, you will have lunch in the small and charming walled town of Bolghieri. In the afternoon, you will make your way to Ornellaia, a wine company founded by Ludovico Antinori. Visiting the vineyards, you will understand how the terroir and geography of Bolgheri is so well-suited for international grape varietals like cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and syrah.
Enjoy tastings and explanations about their cult wines. You will return to the hotel for some leisure time before having dinner in Castagneto Carducci, a medieval town tucked with a spectacular view that Giosue Carducci, modern Italy’s national poet, so beautifully describes. The dinner will feature authentic local cuisine like wild boar (cinghiale) ragu and polenta.
You will visit Petra, an architecturally-stunning cellar designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. There, you will see the great investments many producers from other parts of Italy have made in this growing area. For lunch, you will head over to Castiglione della Pescaia and to Le Mortelle, an Antorini winery where the passion for wine drives the evolution of wine-making.
After a vineyard and cellar tour, you will enjoy an aperitivo and a lakeside lunch paired with the estate's wines. There will be a stop in the Etruscan hamlet of Castiglione della Pescaia for some time to stroll the streets. By late afternoon, you will check in to a hotel in Montalcino and have dinner there.
The morning will begin with a brief walking tour of the center of Montalcino. Then you will visit Casanova di Neri, home of the single vineyard ranked as Wine Spectator’s number one. They specialize in single-vineyard Brunellos in a state-of-the-art cellar tucked under a beautiful farmstead. You will be served a light lunch in their private tasting room, and then you will go for a second Brunello tasting at Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, and a visit to a spectacular palace with great wines. The evening will be yours to enjoy.
You will visit another Renaissance gem, Pienza, which is famous for its architecture and for being an “ideal town" commissioned by Pope Pius II. You will tour the Piccolomini Palace, stroll through its beautiful light-filled church, and learn a bit about Renaissance architectural theory and Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. Pienza is also known worldwide for pecorino cheese, the making of which is a skill once considered so valuable that women listed it on their dowry.
You will enjoy a tasting of three types of pecorino in this cheese capital and see how cheese is aged with walnut leaves, olive paste, and hay. It's possible that grapes even affect its flavor. You will also visit Poliziano, one of Montepulciano's leading wineries and one of the first to heavily reinvest in the area and its wine, beginning in the 1960s.
You will also enjoy a private guided walking tour of Montepulciano, and a gourmet wine experience in the city. Learn about the medieval origins and visit the cellars in the historic city center of this beautiful town. It served as a summer retreat for Florentine aristocrats, and its palazzi and piazze were embellished by Florence’s leading 15th-century architects.
Montepulciano's wine took center stage in the 1700s, when its popularity among nobles and literates, such as Voltaire, earned the signature name Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. You will enjoy dinner in the historic medieval cellar of Gattavecchi in the center of town, which also holds an Etruscan tomb. The dishes will be paired with their wines including Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Siena will be the day's destination. After fueling up on panforte, a cake dense with nuts, candied fruits and spices, at Pasticceria Siena, and tasting almond paste cookies at Ricciarelli, you will visit the city to see the austere San Domenico Church and the Medicee Fortress, followed by the Duomo, which houses works by Michelangelo and Pinturicchio, and the breathtaking Piccolomini library. Enjoy a light lunch in town, followed by leisure time for shopping and strolling the streets.
By afternoon, you will reach your hotel for the next three nights in the heart of Chianti Classico. After checking in and having some time to relax, you will have a short drive to Borgo San Felice, which is located in the south. This small medieval hamlet of Castelnuovo Berardenga covers over 180 hectares of premium vineyards and 17,000 olive trees. You will visit the cellars at the hospitable Osteria del Grigio di San Felice, and enjoy dinner with dishes paired with the estate's wines.
In the morning, you will head to the gateway of Chianti Classico in Greve. You are lucky as the day is part of the annual celebrations of Chianti Classico, and also marks the 300th anniversary of the denomination. You will spend the morning strolling the stands of gourmet food producers and wineries of Greve. Take your glass and seize the day.
You have the option to return to Castello di Tornano to freshen up or stay in Greve before visiting Castello di Brolio, the birthplace of Chianti where the Ricasolis have been making wine since the 1100s. The cru tour includes a walk through magnificent gardens and wine cellar. Afterwards, you will enjoy dinner at the winery’s Osteria del Castello, with their highly-regarded Chiantis.
You will enjoy a complete hands-on cooking lesson at Castello di Tornano. You will savor the fruits of your labor after, paired with the wines produced by the estate for lunch. You will relax in the afternoon at the castle before visiting a tiny hamlet called Volpaia. There, you will enjoy an exclusive dinner to bid farewell to Tuscany in Castello di Volpaia's private wine cellar room. The dinner will feature a seven-course meal paired with the estate's wines.
You will depart from Italy, carrying home with you all the fun and amazing memories of this trip. If you wish to extend your stay, Italia Dolce Vita can further assist you with other vacation ideas and proposals.
Included in the price of this retreat are private guided tours of Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, and Siena. You will also have private vineyard and wine cellar tours, with sit-down tastings at top Tuscan producers including Antinori, Borgo San Felice, Casanova de Neri, Grattamacco, Petra, and Ricasoli.
This retreat will take place in the region of Tuscany in Italy.
All three daily meals are included in the price of this retreat. The breakfasts will be served in the respective accommodations. Lunches and dinners will be authentic Italian and gourmet meals, all paired with local wines. Italia Dolce Vita is accustomed to accommodating food allergies or preferences in their vacation planning services. They can cater to gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or kosher specifications, so please do not hesitate to let them know well ahead of the trip.
If you're feeling adventurous, Italia Dolce Vita can help you arrange other activities and services at an additional cost. They can also help you with tour extension options before or after the scheduled trip dates.
Please book your flight to arrive at Florence Airport (FLR). Transfer from the airport is included. Italia Dolce Vita will pick you up from the airport.